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E90/E92/E93 M3 (2008 - 2014)
4th generation E90 M3 sedan, E92 M3 coupe and E93 M3 convertible. The last of the naturally aspirated M3s, powered by a 4.0 liter V8 making 414hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

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  #1  
Old 04-15-2013, 07:35 PM
plegard plegard is offline
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M3 at low RPMs

Am considering adding a 6MT 2008 e93 as a fun car.

Currently drive a 2013 e70 5.0 m-sport with m-performance package as my daily driver.

Went for test drive and fell in love with the looks of the car. It is stunning with the top up and top down. The quad exhaust tips, the fender flares, the bump in the hood, everything. I have also always dreamed of owning an M car because I want to own the best of the brand that I love.

This car has the m-drive. The ability to set the dampers, throttle, steering, etc is incredible. I do have adaptive drive on my x5 as well as active steering, so there is some similarity to having a vehicle with dual personalities upon demand.

My dilemma is that I do most of my driving around town and, although I have driven an M3 coupe on the track at the Performance Delivery Center, the real world does not seem to have many places where one can: mash the accelerator, wind the car out to 8000 RPMs, and be pushed back into your seat well after the initial launch, like an M3 on a track.

The tach on my test drive spent most of its time below 4000 and, to be completely honest, the car actually felt like it was struggling when the RPMs were in the 1500-2500 range, contrary to the 4.4 litre turbo in my x5 5.0, where the entire torque band is available from like 1300-5000 RPMs.

My question to the M3 owners is how is this car when just driving around town in the < 3000 rpm range? I can not envision myself driving down our 25 mph street in 1st gear and at 6500 RPMs. The neighbors would probably wonder what aircraft was landing.

I'm fairly certain I'm going to pass on what I thought was my dream car, and the part that is so hard for me to believe, is that I'm probably going to pass because it didn't feel that powerful driving it in the manner that I typically drive.

Has anyone else gone with a turbo (335) instead of an M3 because of the low-end torque? Am I crazy to pass on this car?

Sorry for the long winded story but I guess I'm just trying to figure out if others here had reservations about driving such a high performance car so far under its capabilities for the majority of the time. And, if so, what helped get you over that sensation of a car that could be so much more, but that when driven in normal circumstances, actually feels less powerful than a ridiculously heavy x5 or my old 335i.

To be clear, this is not a flame at all. I am a HUGE M3 fan, I'm just looking for others who may have come from a 335 or other turbo sports car, but are now enjoying the M3. And how do you drive it around town? What gear? At what RPM are you shifting?

ANY / all thoughts appreciated. Thank you in advance. And I apologize if this has been covered before. Haven't spent much time on the M3 boards, always watched from afar with envy at you all on here.

Last edited by plegard; 04-15-2013 at 07:54 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2013, 07:50 PM
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650 Ryder 650 Ryder is offline
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The M3 (S65) motor is a high rev work of art. The low end torque has been discussed too many times to recall. The best advice I can give would be to keep the gears low and the RPM's high. There's no substitute for 8400 RPM's. If the exhaust is stock it shouldn't be overbearing to the neighbors. Trust me, you'll find plenty of opportunity to enjoy the high rev-ability(word of the day) on your commute. Or you'll be like many of us and start to find excuses to go to Lowes or Home Depot just so you can drive .............Phil
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  #3  
Old 04-15-2013, 08:01 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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I absolutely refuse to give up my M3. It is balanced on the road and of course on track.
DCT in mannual mode is a lot of fun. If you just need to get somewhere, auto mode suffices.
Sure low end torque at times, but overall, this car is way better than the entire M lineup.
If you fit in it, it is a very nice ride.\
Hope this helps.
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  #4  
Old 04-16-2013, 01:37 AM
J997tt J997tt is offline
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I drive mine everyday, rain or shine. Maybe it's just me but I do not find the car lacking anything anywhere. The engine is so flexible and revs build so quickly that I am always in the 3-5k band on the street and it goes just fine. I am with Phil on this one. It is just the best, practical, and most sorted high performance car I have owned. Maybe a better way to frame this up for you is to say that I came from a 997 Turbo and don't miss it at all beyond the more unique styling. That thing was a true torque monster but kind of like your concerns about using the M3 as designed I could not responsibly use the Porsche's real performance safely on the street. I have DCT also and love it. A really flexible transmission that is a hoot to use in aggressive M mode. I wish I would have bought the M3 years ago. It is that much fun. Good luck in your decision making.
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:27 AM
mjposner mjposner is offline
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Just set uo the M button for max and you will be fine. Plus, you can easily extract more power with exhaust, test pipe and tune.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:51 AM
plegard plegard is offline
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Thank you

Thanks to all the responses. Will go drive it again (hopefully) tonight and try keeping the tach between 3-5k around town and try to wind it out a little higher on the highway. May just be a question of learning to shift differently than I have traditionally.

Need to imagine Donnie Isley from the PDC is in the passenger seat again goading me to hammer it!

Driving the M3 (E92, DCT and Competition package) around the track in Spartanburg was one of the greatest days of my life and can still hear the pops out of the exhaust as the DCT rev-matched my downshifts perfectly. Just worried that this car will be a magnet for speeding tickets if I drive it like it is intended! Ha

Thanks again.
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  #7  
Old 04-16-2013, 06:08 AM
e93user e93user is offline
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Also see this discussion going on recently:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=683559
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  #8  
Old 04-16-2013, 10:51 AM
highyo highyo is offline
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i'm going through the process of putting the dinan diff in to combat this issue, not that its really an issue at all. i just can't get enough
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:41 PM
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Capobranco Capobranco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 650 Ryder View Post
The M3 (S65) motor is a high rev work of art. The low end torque has been discussed too many times to recall. The best advice I can give would be to keep the gears low and the RPM's high. There's no substitute for 8400 RPM's. If the exhaust is stock it shouldn't be overbearing to the neighbors. Trust me, you'll find plenty of opportunity to enjoy the high rev-ability(word of the day) on your commute. Or you'll be like many of us and start to find excuses to go to Lowes or Home Depot just so you can drive .............Phil
+1 I commute 25 miles with my M3 from MD to DC. I actually look forward to my commute!

You might find this video interesting - Rapoport directly addresses your concern about low end torque at about 4.20 seconds into the vid.

[URL="
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:04 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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If you are new to high revving engines or not sure if you like their power delivery you can test the car with the "Power" button on. As you get used to and learn how to utilize the power band you will likely appreciate the higher level of precision and linearity with that button off. If not, there is no shame in using it constantly if that makes you enjoy the car more. It won't help mpg though.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:28 PM
plegard plegard is offline
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Drove it again tonight

Drove it again tonight. Brought my wife with me to get her thoughts.

Kept the car over 3K RPMs at all time, and in one incredible sequence I was going like 45 in third gear, explained to my wife that this car is meant to be driven at higher RPMs (as a warning) so I downshifted to second, tach jumped to like 5000, and then I punched it.

The power that came on was sick. It put me back in my seat despite me being prepared for it. My wife looked like she was going to be sick......a sure sign of a great car! (Channeling a line from the classic 80s movie "Summer School"). She thinks it looks great but is ridiculously over powered for a daily driver. Hard to argue with those comments.

I was set to pass after Sunday's test drive, but now am back in the "it's awesome" camp.

And if there's a better looking convertible on the road, I haven't seen it. The car is stunning!

You guys that have an M3 are a very lucky group. Still not sure it fits into our daily life, but, if it doesn't end up in my driveway, it won't be because of my earlier concern around low-end torque.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:01 AM
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enigma enigma is offline
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You drive a 400hp/450lb-ft SUV that weighs over 5000lbs, and you are calling the M3 too much as a daily driver? Oh, the irony...

BMWs have not be about tons of power/torque until the turbo engines in the recent years. So, I am not sure why so many BMW enthusiasts now start complaining about lack of torque (which by the way I don't agree with). In comparison to its predecessors, the e9x M3 actually has a lot of torque.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:06 AM
nhman nhman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enigma View Post
BMWs have not be about tons of power/torque until the turbo engines in the recent years. So, I am not sure why so many BMW enthusiasts now start complaining about lack of torque (which by the way I don't agree with). In comparison to its predecessors, the e9x M3 actually has a lot of torque.
Agreed. Also it's not just about torque at the crank but gearing and how well the car can deliver the power to the pavement.

I suspect the next generation M3/M4 will have a lot more torque due to using a FI engine but also I believe that it will have the sound generator to "enhance" the driving experience vs. the current natural sound from the NA engine.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:17 AM
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650 Ryder 650 Ryder is offline
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One more point to add to the guys right above me.......when you experienced the raw power I truly hope you noticed how well and linear it was delivered. I've owned quit a few BMW's and none of them have been this much fun to drive. As I always say to friends that ask about the M3........this is the best Jekyll and Hyde car on the market IMO. I can leave the grocery store with my wife, drop her off in the driveway and immediately head to the track.........man it doesn't get any better than that. Good luck in your decision OP and may the pure driving essence and intoxicating sound of the M3 haunt you until you put one in your driveway ................Phil
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Capobranco View Post
+1 I commute 25 miles with my M3 from MD to DC. I actually look forward to my commute!

You might find this video interesting - Rapoport directly addresses your concern about low end torque at about 4.20 seconds into the vid.

[URL="
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:05 AM
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Capobranco Capobranco is offline
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Quote:
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....Good luck in your decision OP and may the pure driving essence and intoxicating sound of the M3 haunt you until you put one in your driveway ................Phil
+1000 - nothing to add to that ^ except the sound effects ..."Vrrooommm!"
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:02 AM
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enigma enigma is offline
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Originally Posted by 650 Ryder View Post
this is the best Jekyll and Hyde car on the market IMO. I can leave the grocery store with my wife, drop her off in the driveway and immediately head to the track.........man it doesn't get any better than that. Good luck in your decision OP and may the pure driving essence and intoxicating sound of the M3 haunt you until you put one in your driveway ................Phil
I couldn't agree more with this.

My Z4MC is REALLY fun to drive, but as a daily commuter, it can get tiring. Really heavy clutch, unforgiving suspension, firm seats and heavy steering... all greate attributes if you want to track, but on California roads (i.e. in desperate need of repairs), it can be quite punishing. The S54 engine is quite a master piece even today, but it sure feels torque-less compared to the S65.

The e9x M3 is truly an everyday commuter car that you can take to the track on a moment's notice.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by 650 Ryder View Post
... As I always say to friends that ask about the M3........this is the best Jekyll and Hyde car on the market IMO. I can leave the grocery store with my wife, drop her off in the driveway and immediately head to the track.........man it doesn't get any better than that. ...
Totally agree
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:25 PM
polonus polonus is offline
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I supercharged mine M3 - it solved low torque problem. It has 300 lbs-ft at 3000 rpm, 350 at 4K, 400 lbs-ft from 6500-8400 rpm. It is not a cheap solution, but it works. ;-)

Last edited by polonus; 05-01-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 650 Ryder View Post
The M3 (S65) motor is a high rev work of art. The low end torque has been discussed too many times to recall. The best advice I can give would be to keep the gears low and the RPM's high. There's no substitute for 8400 RPM's. If the exhaust is stock it shouldn't be overbearing to the neighbors. Trust me, you'll find plenty of opportunity to enjoy the high rev-ability(word of the day) on your commute. Or you'll be like many of us and start to find excuses to go to Lowes or Home Depot just so you can drive .............Phil
The noise....Pure induction noise...it's refreshing to hear mechanical noise.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:02 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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roadfly review is spot on
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:03 AM
tsbrown tsbrown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enigma View Post
BMWs have not be about tons of power/torque until the turbo engines in the recent years. So, I am not sure why so many BMW enthusiasts now start complaining about lack of torque (which by the way I don't agree with). In comparison to its predecessors, the e9x M3 actually has a lot of torque.
+1. One of my driver school instructors commented how much torque my E90 M3 had compared to his E30 M3. It wasn't necessary to shift in certain places on the track (Mid-Ohio) that he had to. Same on the street.

Don't think it's pulling hard enough? Easy fix... just apply more right foot.
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